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“MotoGP chance gone, motocross plans when I retire from WorldSBK” - Jonathan Rea

Jonathan Rea says professional motocross outings await him once he leaves the WorldSBK Championship having accepted he won't get shot at MotoGP

Jonathan Rea - Kawasaki Racing Team 1200


Jonathan Rea says he has come to accept the chances of him competing in the MotoGP World Championship have now gone despite his continued dominance of a WorldSBK Championship series he has won six years in a row.

Instead, Rea reveals he wants to pursue competing in motocross to keep him active once he has hung his WorldSBK leathers up for good.

Joining Kawasaki in 2015 after several years underachieving with Honda, during which he suffered several injuries, the move transformed Rea from an occasional race winner to the man everyone has to - but struggled - to defeat ever since.

He now has an unprecedented six WorldSBK titles, achieved in each of the six seasons he has competed with Kawasaki, under his belt.

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Moreover, the opening round of the 2021 WorldSBK season saw the Ulsterman collect his 100th victory, a tally that dwarfs the next highest achiever of Carl Fogarty on 59*.

However, while few doubt Rea will be ranked among the greatest riders in motorcycling history upon his eventual retirement, there remains the question marks that surround how he’d fare had been signed to compete in the pinnacle MotoGP World Championship.

It is a question Rea is asked frequently and has previously revealed he does get approached fairly regularly. However, they haven’t come from the factory team he deems necessary in order to entice him a successful, influential and well-paid ride at Kawasaki… and he has accepted it probably never will now.

“To leave Superbike… it would need to be something that sets me on fire, as I’m comfortable in the Superbike environment,” Rea told GPOne. “To consider something else - like MotoGP - I would need something concrete, like a factory bike, and this has never materialised. I don’t think the opportunity will come now that I am 33. SBK is my world and I’m happy. Then after the races I enjoy my little ones.”

Instead, Rea is looking beyond a life on track to keep him match fit in retirement, pointing to doing some motocross races potentially. 

“I would like to enjoy Anaheim Supercross. Also I have a desire to do a national motocross championship race after retiring, probably something in Northern Ireland, like a championship race in Ulster. I ride my dirt bike quite regularly so I’d love to do that.”